How Cycling UK’s Tour Leader Award Course is helping more cyclists to discover Switzerland

Take your cycling passion to new heights with a Cycling UK Tour Leader course. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Anthony Walker and three of his friends came all the way from Switzerland to take Cycling UK's Tour Leader Award Course in Hawes. Here's what they learned.

Having recently founded a new road cycling business Kudos Cycling in the Valais region of Switzerland, Anthony Walker decided to come to the UK to pursue his Tour Leader Course.

Anthony explained: "As my business was offering a cycling experience for all abilities, I wanted to be confident leading a group of cyclists, whether they were experienced or novices. The Tour Leader Award Course offered by Cycling UK provided me with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to lead a group of cyclists.

"The course syllabus covered everything that I needed to organise my tours and I found it invaluable. My first task was to look after a group of 20 ladies, who varied in fitness and experience. My first priority was to organise the route. This required riding the route beforehand, taking a note of any dangers the cyclists may encounter such as dangerous junctions, poor road services, or technical descents and ascents. Safety is one of my main priorities.

"The group, although they had cycled before, required rental bikes. Before we set off, we ensured all the bikes were fitted correctly and were in good working condition. We did the simple ‘M check’ which we were taught on the course and asked everyone to do a quick cycle proficiency test. Luckily, they could all ride bikes but with the group being from the UK and in a foreign country, the brakes are the other way around, it is always better to double check!" Anthony said.

The course syllabus covered everything that I needed to organise my tours and I found it invaluable.

Antony Walker,
Tour Leader Award Course participant

"We were lucky with the weather, no need for waterproofs, but it was a very hot day which required lots of water stops. This meant lots of splits in the group, so clear instructions on waiting points and constantly checking the front of the group and the back of group ensured that no one got lost or left behind," Anthony said.

"During our course in Hawes we were all given the opportunity to lead the group with various scenarios just in case it happened in a real case situation. These scenarios included people not stopping at pre-arranged meeting points, punctures, illness and the worst case, a crash. The group gave feedback on how we handled our scenario and whether we could have done things differently. This was an invaluable experience and it was great to be put on the spot as it occurs more often than you think.

"The main goal of the day was to give the group a fun day out, in a safe environment and to ensure the group listened to instructions from their tour leader. Overall, this course and the guidance of Nigel, our instructor at Stage 1 Cycles, gave us the tools to achieve this."

Cycling UK has lots of courses, covering everything from first aid to Advanced Mountain Bike Leader, so why not take your passion to the next level?